As we drove into Mount Rainier National Park the visibility decreased considerably. By the time we parked at Paradise Visitor Center, we had no idea how close we were to Paradise Inn (which the visitor center shares a parking lot with). After parking I realized how underprepared I was clothing-wise, so I ended up (very warm) in a XXL jacket. We watched people in ice climbing gear, in ski gear, and in hiking gear, all set off on the same trail. Since there was no chance of seeing iconic Paradise views like Mount Rainier or Nisqually Glacier, we decided to focus on wildflowers, and so hiked Nisqually Vista Trail. July and August is wildflower season in Mount Rainier National Park. Supposedly the season is just getting started. If tens of thousands of flowers is an introduction, I would love to see the park at its peak.
Paradise Inn was built in 1916, and the guide house in 1920. Both places are where climbers begin their mountain ascent. The inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s super warm and inviting (in temperature and decor). No wonder it is booked out months in advance. Next time we come we will definitely make a reservation.